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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports tennis

IU women’s tennis dominates double-header, advances to 9-5

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IU Head Coach Ramiro Azcui had few complaints of the women’s tennis team during its double-header Saturday at the IU Tennis Center. 

IU swept Cornell 7-0 in the afternoon and then Miami University 4-0 just a few hours later. Riding the momentum they found last weekend when they snapped a three-game losing streak, the Hoosiers now find themselves on a three-game winning streak heading into Big Ten play.

“Our Big Ten schedule will be a tough stretch,” Azcui said. “We start with two of probably the best four teams in the conference. We’re excited for the opportunity but we’re going to have to correct a few things in practice to be ready for a top team in the Big Ten."

The Hoosiers jumped all over the Big Red in doubles to start Saturday, picking up wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to take the early 1-0 lead. IU did more of the same in singles to complete the 7-0 sweep of Cornell.

Freshman Somer Henry made quick work of her competition at the No. 6 singles court. Her 6-0, 6-1 win extended IU’s lead to 2-0. 

Senior Natalie Whalen, junior Caitlin Bernard and sophomore Michelle McKamey also earned straight set wins at singles, putting IU up 5-0. When the team match was clinched, senior Madison Appel and sophomore Jelly Bozovic were in the middle of tight third sets.

Appel finished it out at No. 1 singles to win 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The No. 4 singles court elected for a ten-point tiebreak to determine a winner, and Bozovic prevailed 5-7, 6-2, 10-6. It was IU’s first complete sweep of a team since its 7-0 win over Butler on Feb. 3.

Moving its record to 8-5, IU came into its match against Miami with more breathing room. 

Though Azcui opted to deploy his usual lineup in both matches Saturday, junior Anna McCoy was summoned from the bench to play exhibition tennis for the Hoosiers. The Bloomington native has played in five matches this regular season, but Saturday was a special occasion: Her 21st birthday.

“It was just special to be here,” McCoy said. “I had a lot of friends and family come and support me. I had a birthday lunch between the matches and it’s just been a fun day to be here with my teammates and it was fun to play.”

McCoy’s teammates surprised her with courtside cake moments after the Hoosiers earned a sweet victory over the Redhawks. 

IU took the doubles point from Miami and quickly won three matches at singles. Whalen, Bernard and Bozovic earned straight set wins over their opponents to clinch the team win for IU, and both coaches agreed to call off the other matches to give their players some rest.

“We want to stay healthy,” Azcui said. “When you play a double-header, a lot of injuries start showing up.”

With Big Ten play right around the corner, Azcui said he wanted to capitalize on an opportunity for McCoy to play competitive tennis. The IU coach also said sophomore Olga Zavarotnaya is working toward getting back on the court. 

"The Big Ten season is a long season, we’re going to need everybody," Azcui said. "Anna’s doing a fantastic job. Especially today coming in on her birthday and playing a match, it’s great to see her competing. We’re also hoping Olga will be able to come back soon."

IU’s homestand extends through next weekend when it welcomes Illinois and Northwestern to the IU Tennis Center. The Hoosiers, 9-5, will play the Fighting Illini at 12:30 p.m. March 8 and the Wildcats at 10:30 a.m. March 9. 

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